The 10 Best Cult Fragrances That Will Make You Standout

From Creed to Le Labo, here's a list of scents that are anything but basic.

There are plenty of tried-and-tested perfumes out there, but if you want to truly spice up your arsenal, cult fragrances are the best way to go.

Compared to more mainstream options, these lesser-known scents are unexpected and will make you stand out. They're made in small batches with notes that, simply put, are more niche. As such, fragrances that fall under this category are also far more complicated and can be polarizing.

Here we've compiled a list of the best men's cult fragrancesscents that are anything but basic.

1| Le Labo Santal 33

Photo by NET-A-PORTER.

This cult hit prominently features leather, cardamom, cedarwood, and of course, sandalwood. This creamy wood fragrance evokes the old west—think cowboys and campfires. You can’t go anywhere trendy without catching a whiff of Santal 33. Its intoxicating scent is one that shouldn't be missed.

2| Byredo Gypsy Water

Photo by NET-A-PORTER.

Byredo is known for its bright and bold scents, and this fragrance is no different. Gypsy Water is an embodiment of Romani culture, one that's mystical and lively. It hits you with citrus and pepper upon first whiff and then settles into a quiet, warm vanilla. What really makes this fragrance special is its heart notes of pine and incense.

3| Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

Photo by NET-A-PORTER.

A highly regarded niche fragrance, Musc Ravageur is often described as sexy and animalistic, so expect to be irresistible. It's a polarizing scent that may smell different on each person, so much so that there have been claims of its reformulation. The notes that really stand out in this fragrance are lavender, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove.

4| Serge Lutens Chergui

Photo by COURTESY.
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Chergui is a spicy oriental fragrance with a lot of character. Its complex mix of honey and amber gives the fragrance its sweetness, while hay contributes some unexpected greenness. Tobacco is the star of the scent, and with an assist from incense, you get why the bottle got its namesake. With a bit of everything, it's also something that you either love or hate.

5| Nasomatto Black Afgano


Nasomatto is a house known for taking risks with unique fragrances. Black Afgano is one of the best men's cult fragrances out there today, and is not a scent for the meek. Don't be deceived by the small stunning bottle, as a single spray packs a punch. It is a dark smoky wood number with notes of oud, incense, and coffee. As a plus, this fragrance also features cannabis.

6| Maison Martin Margiela Replica By The Fireplace


You can be sure this cult fragrance is excellent since it's been developed by a cult brand. Maison Martin Margiela's Replica was created with the unique goal to take you to another place or time. Fireplace is Christmas in a bottle. It’s a warm, cozy, and woody mix that evokes imagery of roasting chestnuts and marshmallows by, well, a fire.

7| Tom Ford Oud Wood

Photo by TOM FORD.

Though Tom Ford's Private Blends has left obscurity to become one of the leading fragrance lines today, Oud Wood is still worth mentioning for its earthy and exotic notes that make it extremely wearable. Oud, rosewood, and sandalwood are masterfully blended with cardamom and vanilla, ultimately making this fragrance surprisingly soft and creamy. And since it comes from Tom Ford himself, you can be assured of its erotic appeal.

8| Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540

Photo by NET-A-PORTER.

If you're looking for a bold and unique fragrance that impresses, then Baccarat Rouge is your best bet. This is a brilliant blend of florals, wood, and resin. It’s sweet, but there is a definite crispness to it that puts it in between masculine and feminine. This fragrance is regarded as versatile and the one to add to your arsenal if you’re looking to indulge in something that’s a little more out there.

9| Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet


Blenheim Bouquet is one of the most essential Penhaligon fragrances. It was created in 1902 for the Duke of Marlborough and was also a favorite of Winston Churchill. With a long list of notable fans, this is a scent that every man should experience at least once in their lives. This iconic fragrance is citrus aromatic, a refreshing and discreet scent for the gentleman.

10| Creed Aventus


Aventus might be the most popular niche fragrance in the world. There isn’t a man or woman who isn’t beguiled by this fragrance upon smelling it. You can credit bergamot and pineapple for making this fragrance sparklingly refreshing. There's plenty of talk about Aventus, but really, it's something you have to try if you're looking for the best cult fragrances for men.

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Angela Escudero
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